We Started as a Mission
The West Morris Street Free Methodist Church began as a mission in an abandoned church on the corner of South Ray Street and Warren Avenue in Indianapolis. The mission preached the message of salvation and holiness as taught by John Wesley and the early Methodists. Many people came to faith in Jesus Christ at the mission.
The devastating flood of 1913 forced the mission to look west to the "hill" for a more accessible meeting place. A woodshed on the corner of Tremont and West Ray Street formed a temporary meeting place in the fall of 1914. Attendance reached nearly 100. The church rented a store on the Northeast corner of S. Pershing and W. Wilkens (across from our present youth pastor's parsonage) for $20.00. The merchandise shelves served as a convenient place for sleeping babies. The work continued with no appointed pastor. On Thanksgiving of 1915, the little mission served 176 dinners to the poor and shut-ins.
The group purchased a lot across the street (present parsonage) for $200. Bill Buckler, a converted bartender, and his wife held the meetings.